Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2013
Maiden Flight: 25 September 2007
Total Production: 179
Production Cost: USD$40 billion
Unitary Cost: USD$223 million
Also Known As: KC-30, KC-330 and KC-X
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: AAR Corp, Aircraft Safety, Astronics, EADS North America, General Electric Aviation, Goodrich Corporation, Honeywell, Knight Aerospace, Northrop Grumman*, Parker Aerospace, Sargent Fletcher and Telephonics   (*) lead contractor
Parent System: MRTT
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2004
Total Production: 60
Family Members: A310 MRTT and A330 MRTT
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Description: The Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft is a derivative of the successful A310-300 and A330-200 airliners modified to perform air refueling and tactical transport missions in support of military forces around the world. The A330 MRTT is a three points tanker for refueling by means of wing-mounted pods and hose-and-drogue and/or advanced refueling boom systems. The fuel load is carried entirely in existing tanks in the wing and tail. This leaves the whole cabin free for some 272 seats in the A330 MRTTs troop-transport role, and its entire cargo hold free to carry military equipment on pallets or in containers.

The KC-330 designation was originally proposed by EADS and Northrop Grumman for the US Air Force's Air Refueling Tanker program. KC-330 designation was replaced by KC-30 in October 2005. On April 17, 2006 the Department of Defense granted the US Air Force with the authority to proceed with the KC-X tanker recapitalization program. Finally, the US Air Force awarded the new tanker contract to replace the KC-135 air refueling tanker fleet to Northrop-Grumman/EADS KC-30 aircraft on February 29, 2008. The US Air Force re-named the KC-30 aircraft as the KC-45A.

The US Air Force is expected to procure up to 179 KC-45As worth $40 billion. The $1.5 billion initial contract was funding four tankers under the System Design and Development (SDD) phase with five production options for an additional 64 tankers valued at $10.6 billion. The aim of the US Air Force with the KC-X tanker program is to support the United States global air power in the fields of air bridge, global Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and global strike. In addition, KC-X also provides personnel and equipment transport.

The KC-45A is expected to provide greater air refueling capability than KC-135 Stratotankers and can be refueled by other tanker aircraft. Besides, the new tanker will deliver the ability to refuel US Air Force and US Navy aircraft on every flight without aircraft modifications due to the hose-and-drogue and boom air refueling systems used by the United States military and allied armed forces. The KC-45A will be equipped with two wing pods supporting hose-and-drogue air refueling and one central advanced refueling boom system (ARBS). The aging KC-135 aircraft must be re-configured before flight on-the-ground to provide for one or the other aerial refueling systems. The new tanker will be equipped with defensive systems.

KC-45A News

There are 12 news between
29 Feb 2008 and 16 Dec 2010
1  2  
Thursday, December 16, 2010KC-45's Four-Point Refueling Systems Performed with RAF A330 Tanker
Tuesday, April 20, 2010EADS KC-45 Intends to Re-Enter US Air Force KC-X Tanker Competition
Monday, March 8, 2010Northrop Grumman/EADS Team Drops US Tanker Program
Friday, September 25, 2009US Air Force Announces KC-X Acquisition Program Decision in the Summer 2010
Wednesday, September 16, 2009US Secretary of Defense Announces Return of KC-X Aerial Tanker Program
Wednesday, July 23, 2008EADS Air Refueling Boom System Demonstrated on French E-3 AWACS Aircraft
Monday, July 14, 2008Northrop Grumman Tanker Team Will Complete All Four KC-45 SDD Airframes in 2009
Wednesday, July 9, 2008DoD and US Air Force Reopen Bidding on KC-X Tanker Contract
Tuesday, March 4, 2008EADS MTA Successfully Performs First in-flight Wet Contact of Air Refuelling Boom System
Monday, March 3, 2008CF6 Engines to Power United States Air Force KC-45A Tanker Replacement Program

Operators & Related Equipment

United States of America179
Selected under US Air Force KC-X program for the replacement of the KC-135 tanker fleet

Grand Total 1791
Propulsion Systems
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